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Manitoba doctors facing growing mistreatment, abuse

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Doctors Manitoba says physician abuse and mistreatment is driving burnout and forcing some to consider leaving the profession. – Dec 20, 2021

Doctors Manitoba is sounding the alarm over a rise in physician abuse and mistreatment that’s driving burnout and forcing some to consider leaving the profession.

The organization says 57 per cent of surveyed members experienced bullying, physical assault, threats or verbal abuse throughout November with more than half of the incidents relating to the pandemic in some way.

‘We’re here to ask Manitobans to be kind and respectful to physicians and other health-care workers,” said Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Kristjan Thompson.

“As physicians, we are in our patients’ corner. We are on your team. We want to help you and want you to be healthy.”

A small number of incidents have even occurred at physicians’ homes or in public places such as retail stores.

“We are seeing these incidents and episodes spill over into our personal environments,” Thompson said. “Which is troubling and scary and contributes to a workforce that is already just so stressed and burned out after almost two years into the pandemic.”

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“We need this to stop.”

The group says BIPOC and female physicians, along with those practicing in rural communities, are suffering the brunt of it.

It wants to see the provincial government and leaders within health care to reinforce the need for respect and safety in Manitoba medical facilities.

Doctors Manitoba says it’s encouraged by new federal legislation that makes blocking access to medical facilities or intimidating health-care workers a crime.

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